FYOP 2014: Two Weeks Down; Three To Go


The 62 young men and women selected to serve as First Year Orientation staff have all been working at a feverish pitch since the arrival over two weeks ago of the 179 members of the Class of 2018.

The staff breakdown: five per 12 squadrons and two Headquarters Staff – OCdts Alexandra LaPlante and Alexander Hart are the officer in-charge & 2 i/c  – respectively.  Both are the key action officers and are able to provide answers and insight on all FYOP daily business.

These cadets’ leaders come from all over Canada; are studying in a wide variety of Degree Programs and cover over a dozen military occupations.

A diverse group, indeed!

This leadership structure oversees the military training and development of the new arrivals over a five week period. This is not just some role-playing game with senior cadets pretending to be leaders. These hand-picked cadets get real-life experience in shaping future leaders at the very start of their military careers.

An awesome responsibility, indeed!

In theory, FYOP is cadet-run, with adult (commissioned officer) supervision. In reality, very few major decisions are made without the collaboration of the cadet officer in-charge and a commissioned officer – also known as the Military Staff Advisor. This year the staff officer is 23935 Captain Zackary Gatehouse. The 2008 RMCC graduate, with a tour in Afghanistan under his belt; arrived at the college in 2012 and has been an impressive and hard-working Squadron Commander from Day one.

He devotes a lot of his time and considerable energy to helping the staff achieve the goal of a highly successful 2014 FYOP.

When asked about the main challenges facing 2014 FYOP. “Minor injuries, nothing major; mostly because of the constant physical training, and try outs with varsity teams.” The former RMCC Sandhurst coach added, “…nothing to be too concerned with, pretty normal at this stage of FYOP.”

These nagging type injuries do cut into quality training time but are not considered show-stoppers.

For many years, RMCC officer-cadets have progressed through “Recruit Term” (the former name before FYOP) with the tools necessary to combine a high tempo university education with equally demanding military training.

From where we sit, officer-cadets from the  Class of 2018 are fortunate indeed to have such a dedicated crew, constantly passing on sage advice and looking after them.